July 9, 2019
Blurb: Meet Nina Hill: A young woman supremely confident in her own…shell.
The only child of a single mother, Nina has her life just as she wants it: a job in a bookstore, a kick-butt trivia team, a world-class planner and a cat named Phil. If she sometimes suspects there might be more to life than reading, she just shrugs and picks up a new book.
When the father Nina never knew existed suddenly dies, leaving behind innumerable sisters, brothers, nieces, and nephews, Nina is horrified. They all live close by! They’re all—or mostly all—excited to meet her! She’ll have to Speak. To. Strangers. It’s a disaster! And as if that wasn’t enough, Tom, her trivia nemesis, has turned out to be cute, funny, and deeply interested in getting to know her. Doesn’t he realize what a terrible idea that is?
Nina considers her options.
1. Completely change her name and appearance. (Too drastic, plus she likes her hair.)
2. Flee to a deserted island. (Hard pass, see: coffee).
3. Hide in a corner of her apartment and rock back and forth. (Already doing it.)
It’s time for Nina to come out of her comfortable shell, but she isn’t convinced real life could ever live up to fiction. It’s going to take a brand-new family, a persistent suitor, and the combined effects of ice cream and trivia to make her turn her own fresh page.
Sometimes you find an unexpected book (or not, okay, really, Sascha🙄 ) that hits so many comfortable notes for you as a reader. The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman is that book for me.
Immediately I felt akin to Nina who had everything she needed: a job she loved, her great cat Phil, a fun trivia group, and solitude in which to read. Her endless need for scheduling her entire life was the only part that I didn’t feel engaged with. Ah, well.
But then Nina discovers that she had a father. Well, we all know that we do, but she didn’t. Her Australian single mother never mentioned him, made it sound like she was a party girl and he could have been anyone. But when Nina confronts her mother with her unfortunate discovery, her mother just tells her she knew he would have been a bad father. And there are several commentaries that support her mother’s thesis…and there are others that make Nina think that she must have missed out on something great.
What comes next is a landslide of discovery for Nina. There are seemingly a million of new relatives, some of whom suspect her of being a con-artist to which Nina responds with amusing snark that you’ve got to read.
And then there’s the guy on the competing trivia team that Nina’s always thought was there just because he knows sports. And he does. But he’s cute and charming and equally unexpected and more.
It’s been a long time since a novel just charmed me. There would be moments where I was just reading along, loving the story and then Nina would just say something that would knock me off my rocker and almost roll on the floor laughing at the total surprise of it. And, then equally there are scenes that are so low-played but wonderful.
I have recommended this book. And I will recommend it to you if you love books, trivia, and have a sense of humor. I loved it!
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
5 out of 5 butterflies